The Importance Of Influencer Marketing Today

There is no question that the nature of today’s online world is shifting towards more consumer-centered ideals. What that means is that online consumers want to hear less from brands about what they’re selling and more from brands about how they relate to them and their needs. In other words, authenticity is the name of the game when it comes to building relationships with online consumers. This is a big reason why Influencer Marketing is on the rise and is a great way to get ahead in today’s online world. In this article, we’ll go over the top reasons why Influencer Marketing is important and how one can use it to get ahead in today’s competitive online world.

It Has Become The New Norm

There’s no doubt that Influencer Marketing has basically become the new norm. In fact, 92 percent of consumers around the world have stated that they trust earned media like recommendations from friends and family over traditional corporate advertising according to a study done by Nielson. People these days can’t stand brands that attempt to shove sales jargon down their throats. What they want to hear from brands is how they can help them solve the problems that they face. In other words, online consumers are into brands that resonate with them and are caring about the ordinary people. This is a big reason why Influencer Marketing has become ever so popular today and isn’t going anywhere too soon. 

Finding The Right Influencer

When it comes to trying to use Influencer Marketing to get ahead in the game, we must first know what we’re looking for in an influencer to potentially work with. We must do some research and ask these three questions:

  • Will they fit in with a brand and the vision that it has?
  • What role will they play in helping a brand accomplish their objective? Will they fit in with a brand and the vision that it has?
  • Will this potential influencer resonate with the brand’s target audience?

By answering these three questions, you’ll have a better picture on how to plan out your online marketing strategies. When it comes to influencers, there are three types of influencers listed below and what they’re best described as:

  • Mega-Influencers- Typically have at least 1 million followers and tend to be celebrities like Beyoncé, Chicharito and Alex Morgan for example.
  • Macro-Influencers-Typically have somewhere in between 10K to 1 million followers and tend to be journalists, bloggers and other people who share their passions with the world.
  • Micro-Influencers-Typically have less than 10K followers and tend to be ordinary people like you and me.

Now when it comes to selecting the appropriate influencer to reach out to, it all depends on who you are, what type and size of business you are and what you’re looking to accomplish. Corporations with room to “splash-the-cash” like Gatorade for example tend to go for those Mega-Influencers like they to Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade for example.

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For small businesses, especially those who are more limited on advertising cash, you might be better off investing in either Macro or Micro-Influencers. They’re less costly and are much more likely to resonate with your brand as they’re viewed by online consumers as a more trustworthy source. One thing that every type of influencer has in common is that they’re more likely to respond to you if you show interest in what they do and offer something of value to them. Always important to keep in mind to always reach out to them in a professional manner and ensure that it’s a win-win situation for both sides in order to lay the foundation towards long-lasting relationships with potential business partners.

Putting Your Influencer Marketing Strategies To Work

Now when it comes to actually putting your influencer strategy to work, we must work to connect with online consumers in an authentic manner. The way we go by doing that is to obviously know who your target audience is first. Once you’ve figured that out, find out what the passions and interests of your target audience are and work to tap into their passions. A great example of that is when Nike partnered up with Megan Rapinoe and the USWNT to run a commercial inspiring women to strive for their aspirations and to shatter glass ceilings in order to advance women’s rights in this country. 

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Nike without a doubt built inspiration among women and all those who are passionate in wanting to see women succeed everywhere including myself. Another important note to remember is to consider the feelings of how your target audience would react. It’s always recommended that you don’t try to relate your Influencer Marketing campaigns to controversial topics. If you must, proceed with caution and analyze your target audience to ensure that your current and potential consumers don’t get offended. Strongly recommended that you always focus more on the passions of your target audience.

Another great way to up your game in Influencer Marketing is to feature your influencers in consumer testimonials. A great example of that is when Dove featured an actual consumer in Molly Burke on how their products gave her a positive new experience as she faced blindness.

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This is definitely a great way of using Micro-Influencers like Molly to showcase how their products can give them that totally new feeling that one never experienced before. As mentioned earlier, when an ordinary consumer like Molly has this kind of positive experience, they’re more likely to be trusted by potential consumers more than traditional advertising would. Without a doubt, Influencer Marketing campaigns like these two can go a long way in advancing your brand or cause in a positive way.

Influencer Marketing For The Win

With the increase of Influencer Marketing in today’s online world, there’s no question that businesses from small to big need to get onboard as the future of advertising will depend on Influencer Marketing. Always important to remember the kind of target audience you plan to reach out to, figure out which types of influencers would resonate with your target audience and work to capture their attention by tapping into their passions, interests and emotions. With this type of formula in planning out your Influencer Marketing strategies, you’ll no doubt have great successes in making your brand stand out in an authentic way and lay the foundation towards long-lasting relationships with your current and potential consumers.

What do you feel is key in using Influencer Marketing in advancing your brand and/or cause? How has Influencer Marketing influenced your decision to consider a brand? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

Using Instagram To Establish Your Brand

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege in taking part of an Five-Day Instagram Engagement Challenge hosted by Social With Shayna’s Shayna Marks. It was there where I had the opportunity to work alongside many female entrepreneurs from different places with different backgrounds while learning a great deal about the work that they do in building their online presence. One of the biggest lessons I learned from this experience is that people crave authenticity. They prefer brands that are open to two-way conversations and make it about their target audience. In other words, they love brands that speak their language. In this article, we’ll discuss creative ways on how one can use Instagram to be personable on your way to establishing the reputation of your brand.

Defining Your Target Audience

When it comes to establishing your brand via Instagram, the first step is to know who your target audience is. It’s important to know that the “One Size Fits All” approach won’t do the job when targeting a specific audience. Depending on the type of business or page that you have, each will have their own type of audiences who have different kinds of needs. In other words, you must dig deep in researching the kinds of consumers that are more likely to perform a specific action on your page or even become your customer. Let’s say you own a Digital Marketing blog page and want people to read your blogs, you might want to target people who work in Digital Marketing who are looking for ideas on how to make them better at Digital Marketing. They would be more likely to do business with you than say a bicycle rider (BTW, I love riding bikes 😉). Definitely take time to know everything there is to know about who your potential consumers are. If you do that, you’ll be off to a great start in building up your online presence here on Instagram and on social media overall.

Adjacent Accounts

In addition to defining your target audience, you also want to partner up with people who can be of help to you in establishing your brand. This is where adjacent accounts come into play. Now you’re probably wondering what adjacent accounts are. Basically, they’re businesses or page owners who have a target audience similar to yours but do different types of work. Let’s say that you’re a Digital Marketer looking for quality photos that capture the feelings of your target audience. A great type of adjacent account to try to partner with in this scenario would be brand photographers like Courtney Paige Ray. When it comes to partnering with adjacent accounts, it all depends on the needs of your business so I recommend that you take the time and research potential adjacent accounts who can collaborate with you while helping each other stand out in today’s online world in a positive way.

Using Location Tags

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about location tags. Well just so you know, location tags can actually be more helpful than you think. If you use location tags in a strategic way, you just might be able to grab the attention of your target audience. The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to grabbing the attention of your target audience via location tags is know which places they like to hang out at. Let’s say for example that you want to reach avid bicycle riders. More than likely, the best places they would hang out in would be in recreational areas or in parks such as Big Bend National Park. That’s where the location tags come in handy when it comes to making yourself known to your target audience. Assuming that the Instagram profiles of your target audience is public, reaching out to your target audience via location tags is pretty easy. Always remember to never be afraid to reach out to them via their “natural habitats’ as Shayna likes to call them. 

Using The Right Hashtags

Now we arrive at the section where music instrument players call the “sharp sign”. Oh and did I forget to mention that I played the baritone and mini-tuba during my days at Ropes High School in small town West Texas.Those were definitely the days. Well anyways, these hashtags or “sharp signs” or whatever you like to call them are a valuable symbol that can get you visibility if you know how to use them to your advantage. Now you’re wondering how you can get seen by your target audience when you post on Instagram. What you’ll need to do to be seen by your target audience is identify 7-10 hashtags that they actively use. Now comes the tricky part figuring out which hashtags would actually help you get seen by your target audience. It’s important to know that many hashtags have a high density (over a million) and are more likely to be highly competitive meaning that you’ll have a hard time being heard by your target audience. Same thing goes for using hashtags that very few people use. The one time I recommend using low-to-no density hashtags is when you want to create your own unique hashtag that best identifies with your brand. Now what you want to do to be seen by your target audience is use hashtags that a more moderate amount of people use. The recommended hashtags that you should use as Good Ole Shayna told us are those that have a density in between 10K-200K. By following these tips on how to use Instagram hashtags, you’ll definitely be on your way in seeing your online presence grow and making your voice heard in today’s competitive online landscape.

Authenticity Is The Key

Now that we’ve covered the basics of researching your target audience and how to grow your online presence on Instagram, we’ve now arrived at the part where we talk about the best ways to actually engage with your target audience on Instagram. The #1 rule when it comes to Instagram engagement is to never use sales jargon or ask for favors right off the bat. That will never end well in almost every scenario. Whether you’re reaching out to an Influencer or to your target audience, the one thing that people seem to be craving in today’s online world is authenticity. People are interested in brands that speak their language and are personable with them. When reaching out to them via Instagram, start out by complimenting their work or how a certain topic related to their content resonated with you. When inviting them to connect with you via Instagram, definitely mention what you liked about them and how you look forward to hearing more about the work that they do. That will help your cause in a big way and will help lay the foundation towards great relationships. In addition to that, always remember to tailor your messages depending on the types of consumers, Influencers or businesses you interact with. This will help make your target audience feel that they had a personalized experience and would more than likely do business with you in the future. Definitely important to remember that this is a long-term game. It will take time to build up your brand but by making it all about your target audience, you’ll be on your way to establishing your online presence in a positive way.

Recapping How To Grow Your Online Presence Via Instagram

No doubt that today’s online world is constantly evolving. The days of sales jargon and the “One Size Fits All” approaches are over. To recap, online consumers definitely love brands that speak their language and go the extra mile in being personable towards them. Always important to remember that the key to making your online presence known in a positive way is to research your target audience, research potential collaborators, make great strategic use of your location tags and hashtags, and most importantly, never be afraid to be authentic. By doing all these things, you will without a doubt be on your way to great successes in establishing your brand for the better. 

I’d like to extend a special thanks to Shayna Marks, Courtney Paige Ray and everyone else who took part in Social With Shayna’s Five-Day Instagram Engagement Challenge in inspiring me to write this latest blog post about how to go by building your brand via Instagram. I learned a great deal on how to be better as a Digital Marketer. I’ll definitely do another challenge like this in the future.

What do you feel is key when it comes to building your online presence in a positive way via Instagram or through other social media channels? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below

The Importance Of Video Marketing Today

There’s no doubt that Digital Marketing is evolving rapidly and a big part of why that’s the case is due to Video Marketing. In today’s online world, video is more than a channel where one can watch past clips of their favorite shows like Family Guy or Game Of Thrones. It’s also a valuable method of marketing where companies can inform and showcase to their potential consumers of their products and services.It can even be useful to promote upcoming events that are happening in your area. Videos can go a long way in helping drive up engagement, and if planned out correctly, it will eventually drive up conversions. In this article, we will explore why Video Marketing is important and the proper ways you can use Video Marketing to stand out in today’s online world.

Why Video Marketing?

Video Marketing is no doubt important in 2019 as consumer demand of videos is at an all-time high. In fact, a recent study by HubSpot reported that 54% of potential consumers preferred to see video from brands more than any other type of content. On top of that, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content on a monthly basis on all devices according to Statista. No doubt that video content is vital in helping online marketers and brands stand out in a positive way towards online-oriented consumers. Potential consumers are more than likely to retain the information by watching videos than they would via other marketing methods. Video is a great way to help build up your brand awareness about what you have to offer to potential consumers. With that being said, the key to success when it comes to video marketing is authenticity. In this next section, I will discuss in detail the creative ways one can use Video Marketing in helping build brand awareness and connecting with customers in an authentic way.

The DOs & DON’Ts To Video Marketing

When it comes to Video Marketing, there are many creative ways to stand out when it comes to using video. There are, however, things that we must avoid when it comes to Video Marketing so I will start by covering the DON’Ts first.

The DON’Ts

  1. Don’t Act Salesy

Nothing turns off customers than using sales jargon in an attempt to win them over. Today’s consumers are not impressed with those tricks and will quickly tune you out in the first few seconds of a video.

      2. Don’t Post Videos That Are Too Long

Reason being is that longer videos cause the speed of a website to slow down and in Digital Marketing, every second counts when it comes to consumers decided to stay or leave the page.

      3. Don’t Make It All About You

Another big mistake is talking about how great you are instead of trying to connect with your audience in a unique way. Self-promotion is a big turnoff towards potential consumers and offers nothing of value towards them.

     4. Don’t Use The “One Size Fits All” Approach When Posting Videos To Different Social Media Platforms

Don’t assume that the same kinds of videos that you use on Instagram will also work on LinkedIn. The target audiences are different on each social media platform so please tailor your videos to fit the needs of the target audience on each platform.

Now that we’ve covered the DON’Ts when it comes to Video Marketing. Now we move on to the DOs in how one can be creative when it comes to standing out in a positive way via Video Marketing.

The DOs

  1. Plan Before You Film

Always plan what content you’re going to include in your video and the exact sequence it would appear on the actual video. A great way to do that would be to use storyboards which is where you would sketch out each scene like a comic strip and sketch out the story accordingly. That way you’ll be better prepared for when it comes time to actually film your video content.

2. Strive For Authenticity

As Larry Weber once said, “People don’t want to be sold. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” In other words, use video to talk about the needs and problems facing your target audience and how what you can do to help them. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and tailor your video campaign to fit their needs in order to give them an outstanding personalized experience they won’t forget.

3. Keep Videos On Websites Short But Sweet

The attention span of your target audience shortens the longer your video is especially if you’re new to video marketing. Putting shorter videos on your website would also help your site speed. After all, speed is everything when it comes to your audience deciding whether to stay or leave your site. That being said, if you’re a well-established brand or a well-known influencer like Neil Patel, you have the brand authority to have more lengthy videos. Should you decide on producing longer video content, make sure to include a shorter version of that video on your site and then refer your audience to a video platform like YouTube or IGTV to view the full video.

4. Strive For Creativity When Producing Videos

A great way to get the attention of your target audience is with infographic videos. Videos that contain texts and images relevant to your brand or cause you’re trying to promote with a call-to-action at the end will go a long way in increasing your brand awareness. It will also help those viewers retain the information that they see. This would especially be useful if someone is hearing impaired. Here’s a good example of that here. 

In the video above, Biteable uses appropriate text to inform viewers about the workplace safety stats as well as relevant stats and a call-to-action at the end to advocate for more conversation about how to prevent workplace accidents. In the video above,

5. Keep In Mind About The Target Audience On Each Social Media Platform 

Referring back to the 4th point about the DON’Ts to Video Marketing, each social media platform has different types of audiences looking for different types of content. For more formal and professional-looking content, LinkedIn would be the place for that. For informal content, places like Snapchat and Instagram would be a great fit for that type of information.

6. Strive To Use Videos To Tell A Story About Your Brand

In today’s online world, people crave success stories. Using video marketing to tell your success story about your brand while relating to the needs of your target audience would be a great way to get their attention. To really go the extra mile, include testimonials from consumers who had a great experience with your products. A great example of that is when Dove included an actual consumer in their testimonial video. 


Including an ordinary consumer like Molly in a testimonial video would be an excellent way to get your target audience engaged and they’ll eventually become interested in what you have to offer.

Recapping The Importance Of Video Marketing

“More than 150 million people view videos online every year, most of them ripe to hear your business’s pitch if you produce and market your video effectively.” – Vern Marker

There’s no doubt about the importance of Video Marketing in today’s fast-evolving online world. Now that you have a basic idea on how to and how to not run a video marketing campaign, always remember that the key to success is to know your target audience. Knowing every detail about them is key to success in any marketing campaign and even more important when it comes to Video Marketing. Never be afraid to ask them for feedback. Doing just that will help know which areas in your Video Marketing campaign needs work and you can use that feedback to get better with each Video Marketing campaign. Always keep them in mind and be authentic when reaching out to them via Video Marketing campaigns. If you do these things, you will no doubt increase your brand awareness and have many successes in today’s competitive online world.

What do you feel is key to success in Video Marketing? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to post your thoughts below.

What We Digital Marketers Can Learn From Toy Story And Their Characters

Another exciting time is upon us in theaters this week as another exciting movie release date is upon us. That moment arrives this Friday as another popular movie in Toy Story 4 is finally released for us to enjoy in theaters. It promises to be an exciting movie as were the previous three Toy Story movies. No doubt that each character has their own qualities that make the movie exciting. What is overlooked is that their qualities can be applied in the world of business, especially when it comes to the fast-evolving world that is Digital Marketing. Whether you are a newcomer to Digital Marketing like myself or an experienced Digital Marketer like Neil Patel, it’s important that we know the exact qualities that we must have in order to be successful in today’s online world. In this special edition blog, I will describe how the qualities of each Toy Story character relates to the qualities that we must possess as Digital Marketers.


“You Just Need To Believe In Yourself!”

Ahhh! I present to you the Ferocious Green Rex who eats Force Field Dogs as Andy would say. 😉 Despite his insecurities about his roar, Rex’s biggest quality is being someone who is eager and enthusiastic about everything. His enthusiasm was on display big time in Toy Story 2 when he couldn’t stop talking about defeating Zurg to Utility Belt Buzz. Heck, he even caused the toy car to crash into the can of bouncing balls because of his eagerness to show everyone the book on how to defeat Zurg.

In Digital Marketing, it would be of huge help to possess eagerness and enthusiasm when it comes to dealing with clients. These Rex-like qualities prove that you’re committed to the success of your client’s online advertising campaign and also using your enthusiasm towards looking for a solution in helping your clients stand out online against their industry’s competitors similar to how Rex helped Utility Belt Buzz defeat Zurg.


“Jessie loves critters, but none more than her best pal, Bullseye!”

One of Woody’s most loyal companions is his horse Bullseye. Alongside his loyalty towards Woody, perhaps Bullseye’s best quality is his agility when it comes to helping the Toy Story gang confront a challenge. When Jessie was in danger of being flown to Japan against her will, Bullseye used his agility to help Woody and Buzz catch up to the plane and help save Jessie in the most clutch moment just as the plane was about to take off.

Digital Marketing also requires agility via Agile Marketing. What that means is that we as Digital Marketers must be willing to respond to industry changes or sudden industry news quickly and plan according as those trends occur. This could mean the difference of getting ahead of the game or falling behind when it comes in regards to your competition. In other words, we must be up to speed in today’s fast-evolving online world.


“I knew there was something I didn’t like about that chicken.”

Ahhh! If it isn’t the piggy bank that Andy calls “Evil Doctor Porkchop”. Alongside his ability to switch channels at super fast speeds via remote control, Hamm seems to be knowledgeable of what goes on in both his immediate neighborhood and around town. For example, he knew why Sid came home from summer camp early and figured out that Al The Chicken Man was the same guy that kidnapped Woody from the Garage Sale. It’s that kind of knowledge and research which helped saved the day for the Toy Story game.

This is the exact kind of knowledge that Digital Marketers must possess in order to help their clients have success in the competitive online world. In other words, we must be able to research every single behavior of your target market and the industry challenges that they face in order to gain knowledge on how to plan an effective strategy that will best help them navigate this fast-changing online world. In other words, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH and you’ll have great success just like Hamm did in helping the Toy Story gang in saving the day


“I knew you were right all along, Woody. Never doubted you for a second.”

We now arrive at the toy that Andy calls “The Force Field Dog” that shields the bad guys from Sheriff Woody. Slinky The Dog is best known for his flexibility to stretch out his body to help get the Toy Story gang from Point A to Point B. For example, Slinky used his flexibility to help get the Toy Story gang from Andy’s window to the ground on their way to Al’s Toy Barn and also to help get them across the dumpster outside of Sunnyside.

Flexibility is also important when it comes to Digital Marketing. I don’t mean stretch out your body. I mean stretch out your skills and knowledge. It will help big time when it comes time to help clients solve big time challenges. Also, it’s even more important to be flexible to change especially in this fast-evolving Digital Marketing industry. Trust me. With the recent Google updates making a huge emphasis on mobile-friendly websites that provide quality content, you’ll be glad that you are always open to Slinky-style flexibility that helps your clients get from Point A to Point B.

Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head

Oh It’s So Nice To Have A Big, Strong Spud Around The House.

Well Well Well. If it isn’t the bandits that were protected by the Force Field Dog. The Potato Heads are a pivotal part of the Toy Story gang. While Mr. Potato Head may be at times rude towards Woody while even“Tossing Him Overboard” that one time, Mr. Potato Head has a heart of gold when it comes time to save the day. He even took one for the team twice when he got put into the box by Big Baby in order to buy Woody & Slinky time to execute the first part of the plan to escape Sunnyside while also defending his wife from Lotso. Mrs. Potato Head also possesses the same caring and good-hearted qualities that her husband does. She even used her motherly-figure instincts when she told Buzz and the crew who were headed to Al’s Toy Barn to don’t talk to any toy you don’t know. Of course, let’s not forget that her caring qualities were a big part of why she decided to adopt the Three Little Aliens.

It’s no surprise why the Potato Heads are madly in love with each other and need to be kept together as Andy said to Bonnie. It’s these kinds of generous and caring qualities that Digital Marketers must possess. Always find a way to use your generous qualities by giving back to the community. For example, take part in an issue that your potential target market deeply cares about like start a donation drive for the homeless. Doing these kinds of generous things for the community will help make your potential target market view you positively and they would more likely do business with you. If you be of good heart to the community like Mr. Potato Head is towards the Toy Story gang, good things are bound to happen to you.

Little Green Men

OOOO! Strangers from the outside.

Now I bring you the adopted children of the Potato Heads who are obsessed with “The Claw”. The number one quality that the Little Green Men possess is that they have a curious mind when it comes to seeing and then learning about other people. That was especially true when they met Woody, Buzz and the crew during Toy Story 1 and 2.

The same kind of curiosity can be applied to Digital Marketing when it comes to researching your target market. Always important for Digital Marketers to display that curiosity in not only knowing your target market but also going the extra length to knowing the exact needs of what they’re looking for while being prepared to plan for upcoming changes in industry trends and consumer preferences. These kind of LGM-style curiosity will pay off in a big way when it comes time to help your clients plan out a successful online advertising strategy.

Bo Peep

“You’re cute when you care.”

The woman who has her flock of sheep by her side and also who many would call “Woody’s Girlfriend”. Bo Peep is an important player when it comes to the Toy Story Crew. Her best qualities that make her a valuable part of the Toy Story crew is that she is loyal and supportive especially of Woody and Buzz. When Buzz and the crew were off to rescue Woody from Al, Bo Peep gave Buzz a kiss on the cheek as a sign of encouragement to never rest until Woody is found. She also is always there to cheer up Woody when he’s feeling down including that time when he couldn’t find his cowboy hat.

These are huge qualities to possess as Digital Marketers. You always want to be there for your online audience and offer them something special for their loyalty in following your brand such as offering them a special promotion as a thanks for being a returning customer. Of course, we must always be there for our clients when they face challenges and support them in any way they can throughout any challenge that they face. These kinds of Bo Peep qualities are key to building long-lasting relationships.



Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl is a key player in the Toy Story crew. Her best qualities that make her that pivotal player are that she’s fun-loving, energetic and brave. From opening Andy’s bedroom door to help Buster the Dog go outside to helping the Toy Story gang take on Lotso and his henchmen, Jessie is never afraid to take on a challenge big or small. Her qualities are what make her one of the toughest members of the Toy Story crew. It’s no wonder Buzz is absolutely “WOWed” by her.

These kinds of high-energy qualities are what is needed in a Digital Marketer. The more high-energy and fun-loving that you are, the more that energy will spread to others which will be a catalyst in helping build relationships with your target market. It’s also important to be brave in the face of a fast-evolving Digital Marketing industry and be prepared to plan accordingly in order to face it head on. With these Jessie-style qualities, you will see great results in your relationship-building and planning ahead in facing the incoming industry challenges.

Buzz Lightyear

“To Infinity And Beyond!”

Buzz Buzz Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! We now arrive with that Space Ranger sent to protect us from the Evil Emperor Zurg and also Woody’s best friend. While Buzz is known for his physical toughness from when he opened the gate out of Sunnyside in his Spanish mode, he is best known for his mental toughness and determination. When he was on the quest along with some of the Toy Story crew to go save Woody, Buzz never backed down even though the crew was exhausted and was determined to not rest until Woody was safe back in Andy’s room. It’s almost as if Buzz possesses Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Beard’s “4 To 1” Mentality that he installs into his team. What that means is to be more mentally tough than physically tough and that’s the kind of qualities that make Buzz a powerful part of the Toy Story crew.

In Digital Marketing, we must always show that kind of commitment when it comes to helping your clients succeed in helping guide them through the challenges that they face. When things look tough, always dig deep into your inner self and look for ways to complete the objective on hand. Showing self-determination in helping your clients succeed while being willing to find unique ways to solve the complex challenges that we as Digital Marketers face in today’s changing landscape will go a long way in leading us all to success. When faced with a situation where our backs are against the wall, think of what Buzz Lightyear would do in similar situations and then put his self-determination qualities to work.


“Reach For The Sky!”

Finally, we arrive to meet the rootinest tootinest cowboy in the Wild Wild West that is Sheriff Woody who just happens to be Andy’s favorite toy and later become Bonnie’s favorite toy. Woody perhaps is the most powerful of the whole Toy Story crew. While he may be known for his loyalty towards Andy throughout the first three Toy Story movies, the quality that makes him the most powerful and influential member of the Toy Story crew is his leadership. When the rest of the crew was left behind at Sunnyside, the team fell apart without him. After all, it was Woody who knew from the very beginning that Andy was putting the toys in the attic. Most importantly, what makes Woody a true leader is that he puts his crew first and knew that he had to go back to Sunnyside in order to help his beloved crew escape from Lotso and his henchmen. Knowing the challenges that he would face from Lotso, Woody returned anyway to help his friends plan their escape. That right there is a great example of what a good leader would do.

This is perhaps the most important trait a Digital Marketer must possess. It doesn’t mean that you have to be in a Senior role or a CEO of a top Digital Marketing agency. Leaders can come from any level of employment including newcomers to Digital Marketing. For example, if you notice that a client has an under-performing online marketing campaign that no one else has noticed, this would be a great way to prove your leadership skills by not only pointing the problem out but also finding the appropriate solution that will best address the problem. True leaders take proactive stances in situations like this and are always one step ahead of the game in working towards solutions. As USA Link System CEO Ally Spinu recently said, “Always Over-Deliver.” This will help potential clients think highly of you and would more likely be willing to do business with you. Possessing leadership qualities similar to that of Woody will go a long way in helping you achieve success in today’s online world.

Recapping The Qualities & Putting It All Together As A Team

“The important thing is that we stick together.” —Buzz Lightyear

No doubt that all these qualities that we learned from all these Toy Story characters will be a big part in helping you step up your game in the Digital Marketing industry. That being said, it’s important to put all these qualities together to complement each other by working together as a team just like the Toy Story characters did during their numerous adventures in the first three Toy Story movies. No doubt that each character played an important role with their unique qualities in each adventure but no other quality worked more than by working together as a team. Same thing goes for Digital Marketing. Each team member knows their role but it’s also important to collaborate and communicate with each other in order to overcome any potential challenges that come your way. Teamwork always makes Dream Work. If you can do all these things, you will no doubt have great success in the Digital Marketing industry for Infinity and Beyond.

I hope everyone goes out to the theaters on Friday and enjoy yet another exciting movie in Toy Story 4. It promises to be big as were the previous three Toy Story movies. I know I’ll be there for sure and you’ll always “Have A Friend In Me”.

What do you feel are great qualities to possess as a Digital Marketer? What Digital Marketing lessons has Toy Story taught you? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

Dark Social & Why We Should Embrace It

OOOO Scary! I bet that’s what many of you thought when I mentioned the words Dark Social. Some think that Dark Social is when the Night King, the Ice Dragon that he stole from Daenerys and his army are on their way to invade Winterfeil in Game Of Thrones or when Evil Emperor Zurg is planning to rule the Galactic Alliance and make Buzz Lightyear and his Space Rangers his eternal slave. No need to worry though. Dark Social isn’t when an evil person plans to bring eternal darkness to the world. What Dark Social really means is that it’s social media’s new thing and that it marks the beginning of the future of social media as we know it. In this awesome blog, I will tell you what Dark Social is and why it’s important that we embrace it.

An Overview Of Dark Social

Dark Social is a term used to describe website referrals that go through private social media platforms that are not trackable by analytics programs such as Google Analytics. That creates a challenge for digital marketers in trying to find out exactly where their referral traffic comes from. Great examples of Dark Social platforms are email, text messages and private messaging apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. In a 2012 article by The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal famously coined the phrase “Dark Social” where he discovered that over half of The Atlantic’s social traffic came from dark referrals while also finding out that other websites have an even larger percentage of social traffic coming from Dark Social. To find out how much Dark Social traffic your site has, the awesome folks at Disruptive Advertising describe three great ways to do just that with my personal favorite being the Dark Social Calculator. No doubt that dark social is on the rise and it’s important for businesses, especially small businesses, to embrace the fast-evolving world that is Dark Social. In this next section, I will tell you exactly why Dark Social is on the rise and why it’s important for businesses to embrace it.

Why We Should Embrace Dark Social

When it comes to the rise of Dark Social, a huge reason why that’s the case is that people are valuing privacy now more than ever. That’s especially the case for younger audiences like Millennials and Gen-Z. It’s no surprise that Dark Social platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp are becoming increasingly popular with these generations. I know that for a fact since my own niece uses Dark Social platforms like Snapchat and even convinced me to get a Snapchat which I now absolutely enjoy. Not to mention that 84% of outbound sharing occurs via Dark Social channels as reported by RadiumOne and by many Digital Marketing companies. With that being said, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to get ahead of the game and embrace Dark Social while making it a big part of their marketing strategy. The way they go by doing that is by understanding the behavior of the younger generations while also knowing the effective strategies on how to properly reach out to them via Dark Social networks.

How To Effectively Communicate To Your Audience Via Dark Social

When it comes to interacting on Dark Social platforms, we must learn that these are informal settings in terms of how people communicate with each other. What we must do to capture the attention of your target audience via Dark Social is to think outside the traditional mindset when it comes to marketing your brand. One of the biggest cardinal rules when marketing your brand via Dark Social is to never go for the sale immediately right off the bat. Instead, focus on creating content that brings value to your target audience. There are many good ways to provide value and build up your Dark Social traffic. Beginning an online conversation is a great way to start. That can be done by asking a question or sharing a poll about which products would you use in a particular situation or how well do you rate a certain personal experience with a product or service. My personal favorite is sharing an interactive video showcasing a product or inviting people to a big event like a cupcake and pastry drive. In other words, share content that speaks to the mind of your target market and gets their attention. In addition to sharing quality content, you also want to make content sharing much smoother and less roomy when it comes time to share. Dark Social users are much more likely to share shorter links that take up very little space than they would larger links. You also will increase your chances of seeing more traffic on your website. A great example of how to shorten your links is to use the tool that uses. If you can follow these tips when it comes to using Dark Social, then you’re on your way to success when it comes to one-upping your Dark Social game.

You’ve Reached The Dark Side

No doubt that when it comes to the future of social media, Dark Social will be a big part of it. It’s basically a must to embrace Dark Social while learning all there is to know about how to best communicate your brand via Dark Social platforms. The keys to success when it comes to Dark Social are to know your audience as is the case in any marketing situation and to communicate with them via authenticity. Each audience on Dark Social has a different mindset so it’s important to tailor your marketing strategies to capture the attention of your target audience. By doing all these things, you will have big time success in the fast-evolving world that is Dark Social. With that being said, I’d like to welcome you to the Dark Side. I promise you that we have cookies and I’ll even throw in some tacos for extra fun. 😉

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Cydney Hatch of Disruptive Advertising and Caz Bevan of Be Impossible and NPAccel for inspiring me to write this blog about a subject they’re really big on. They really help us all be better when it comes to Digital Marketing.

What do you feel is a recipe for success when it comes to Dark Social? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

What Makes A Successful Marketing Philosophy In Today’s Fast-Evolving World Of Digital Marketing?

Every single day, I’m curious about everything. Curiosity is finding answers to things.
-Mickey Drexler

When it comes to today’s online world, things are always changing in a rapid manner. Some changes are small while others may hit us by surprise. If you’re a business (especially a small business), it’s always important to take a proactive stance and be on top of your game when it comes to your online advertising campaign. In this article, I will describe three good steps to a marketing philosophy that will lead to a more success in today’s fast-evolving world that is Digital Marketing.

Research Industry Trends

Being on top of industry trends is critical for every business of every size but it’s especially important for small businesses. This makes the difference between whether you’ll become an industry leader or get left behind by your competitors. A big reason why many well-known retailers have gone down under of late is failing to adjust according to industry trends. They’re late to the game when it comes to researching the external environment while also working on their weaknesses in adjusting to the changing industry trends. For example, Sears failed to get ahead of the game when it came to e-commerce. They didn’t capitalize on the opportunities the online world would have provided them whereas their competitors did. Eventually, their failure to do their research when it came to the online word eventually led to their downfall. This is just another reason why being on top of industry trends is crucial in order to be ahead of the game and remain a competitive force in your industry. Fortunately, you can get ahead of the game by doing many things such as reading business newspapers and online articles each day, hearing from industry experts, and most importantly, knowing your target market which now brings us to the next step in having a successful marketing campaign.

Know Every Detail Of Your Target Market

It’s not enough to just know who your target market is. We must also know what their behaviors, preferences and exact needs are. Otherwise, all you’ll have in your Digital Marketing playbook are Hail Mary plays and that obviously wouldn’t be an effective strategy. A great way to find out every detail about your target market is to figure out which social media platforms they hang out in and observe how they interact. From there, you can figure out what their preferences and exact needs are. If you’re marketing to a younger audience for example, you might want to try Instagram or a Dark Social platform like Snapchat. Also, don’t go immediately for a sell. Instead, show them what value you have to offer them based on their needs that may lead to a sale in the future and never be afraid to use videos to get the attention of your audience. On the contrary, today’s online consumers love videos as studies have shown just that. The name of the game when it comes to success in today’s online world is authenticity. The days of the “One Size Fits All” approach are gone. We must always learn to tailor our online advertising campaigns based on the individual needs of the customer. By going the authentic route, your campaign will see much better results.

Test Out Your Marketing Campaign

You know what industry trends that your business faces and you know everything you need to know about your target market. Now, it comes time to put your marketing campaign up for the final test before officially launching your online advertising campaign. There are various ways to test out your marketing campaign but I found out that the best way to test out your marketing campaign is by Split Testing or as many Digital Marketers call it, A/B Testing. What A/B Testing basically means is that you’re putting two elements of your campaign to the test to see which one of those two resonates better with your target audience. Just like when you’re researching your target market, you must also learn to tailor your testing based on the areas you feel where your campaign needs work. In other words, don’t be too general in your testing. Dig deep into your testing and look into the specific aspects you feel that your campaign needs feedback in. If for example you want to test out how you communicate to your audience, you might want to test out your messaging strategies and figure out which one of those two will resonate better with them. Remember to ensure that the length of your testing is not too short or too long in order to get more accurate results and better understand which elements of your campaign work and which elements need work. By investing in A/B Testing, you’ll see much improved results in your online marketing game than you would have without it.

A Recap Of A Winning Marketing Philosophy

Having a great marketing philosophy is key to planning out your online marketing campaign. It gives you an idea on how to lay out your road map to getting your audience to notice you and eventually lead you to increased sales. To recap this article, we must always be on top of industry trends each and every day, know every single detail of your target market while knowing what their exact needs are and test out key aspects of your campaign to ensure maximum success when it comes time to launch your online advertising campaign. As Maya Angelou would say, “When you know better, you do better.” A disciplined marketing philosophy like this one will go a long way in helping you stand out to the crowd in a positive way while also saving you value advertising money and eventually help increase your sales in the long run.

What do you feel is a recipe for increased success towards a successful campaign? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to post your thoughts below.